It requires dollops of discipline and copious amounts of creativity.
But it works.
And if you want to succeed in a highly competitive internet marketplace like the one we have right now, you need every advantage you can muster.
We talk a lot about different strategies and techniques on this blog, but it’s impossible to be successful at building links if you don’t have the fundamentals in place.
At the foundation of every successful strategy is a focus on content.
More specifically, there’s an emphasis on link bait that attracts inbound links and leads to a surge in search rankings, traffic, and credibility.
You’ve probably heard the term before, but do you know what link bait is?
As you can infer from the name, it’s content that’s designed to attract links.
Think of yourself like a deep-sea fisherman tossing out big hooks affixed with chunks of bloody meat. These meat-laced barbs attract sharks and other big fish so that you can reel them in.
The more hooks – and the better the bait – the more fish you can bring on board.
In the world of SEO and marketing, content is your bait.
The more high-quality content you have – also known as link bait – the more authoritative backlinks you’ll attract.
Here are three of the most common types of successful link bait:
Other examples of link bait include guides, ebooks, interactive content (like calculators), quizzes, and roundup posts.
Depending on your industry and/or desired outcomes, certain types of link bait may work better for your link building efforts than others.
But regardless of whether it’s a listicle or an interactive calculator, successful link bait starts with strategic content creation.
Below are 8 creative examples of link baiting that you should consider for your blog/YouTube account if you want to increase traffic levels.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here.
While there’s nothing wrong with trying new things, there’s something to be said for studying what’s already working and rolling with it.
As you do your research, you’ll find that people tend to share content that:
There are plenty of ways to study digital content as a whole, but try drilling down to what’s working in your specific niche.
If you’re a personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents, find out what other car accident lawyers are already posting.
Which articles get shared the most?
Which types of content populate the top Google search results?
Which ones have the most backlinks?
All you have to do is find what’s working and create content that’s better.
If someone has a blog post titled 8 Ways Auto Insurance Companies Try to Rip You Off, write a post titled 44 Ways Car Insurance Companies Rip Off Drivers and include a sleek infographic in the post.
Find what’s working and make a better version.
That’s the quickest way to develop link bait content that generates a high ROI.
Headlines are critically important.
It doesn’t matter if it’s print or digital – they play a key role in attracting readers.
Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said, “On average, five-times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
This is precisely why he believed in dedicating a massive portion of the content creation process to crafting headlines.
As a general rule of thumb, Ogilvy’s rule says that you should spend half of the time it takes you to develop a piece of content on the headline.
Thus, if it takes you three hours to write a blog post, you should spend 90 minutes coming up with a headline.
It’s that important.
Compelling headlines generally consist of a few common traits.
They need to communicate something shocking, unbelievable, or amazing.
They should be specific and relevant.
They should contain your target keyword.
Numbers, questions, and controversial claims all work well.
However – and this is what differentiates white hat link bat from black hat clickbait – it needs to be genuine and true. Spammy headlines might earn you clicks, but they’ll rarely generate backlinks or brand trust.
If you are interested in creating a truly viral post that millions of people will watch, share and chat about, then you should consider doing a video of some subject related to the post that you can use to get backlinks to your website. The content need not necessarily be outstanding in order to get 100,000 views, but it should be good, to make viewers want to share it. There are many online sources to assist you in producing a video, such as makeyoutubevideo.com, kizoa.com and wondershare.com.
Before you begin producing the video, you will need to consider what goals you want the video to accomplish. Several questions to think about are:
While your blog post or video needs to have good content in order to get millions of people to watch, share and gossip about it, it is not necessary to spend hours to create top-notch videos or blog content. If you focus on the presentation of your material, you will generally be more successful. A good rule of thumb is not to force a concept to fit a brand, rather let the brand fit into the concept. Some guidelines to help with this strategy are listed below, with tips for videos listed first:
And for blogs:
Once your post or video is ready to go, it’s time to get it into the most viewed section. But how? It’s easy. Four quick solutions are listed below:
The title and thumbnail are the best way to advertise your video or post. Titles can be changed an unlimited number of times, so sometimes it is wise to use a catchy title for the first several days, and then change it to something else once the views are up. Trendy titles include phrases such as “exclusive”, “behind the scenes” and “leaked video!”
A controversy is an excellent way to maximize the number of views for your material. If a controversy erupts in the comments section, be sure to capitalize on it to the fullest extent. Get the main antagonist to explain what his problem is and show him how he is wrong. A civil discussion can engage viewers and drive traffic back to your website.
If you need more tactics, take a look at our complete list of link building strategies.
Get in touch with us today about link building for SEO. Quality link building is what we do. If you want to do it on your own, we suggest reviewing our SEO Link Building Guide.